The Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Did you know that the human body is approximately 60% water? Water is an essential resource that is needed by the body in order to carry out the necessary functions to stay alive. Without enough water, the body is unable to function at its best and serious problems can occur if one goes without water for too long. Dehydration symptoms can occur even if only 2% of the body’s total water content is lost. That is why it is recommended to drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily.
In addition to keeping your body hydrated and properly functioning, drinking enough water on a daily basis is also important for your oral health. In fact, it is recommended to limit the consumption of other beverages and primarily drink water. This is due to the fact that drinking water offers various oral health benefits including:
Keeping the Mouth Clean
For starters water is unlike other drinks in that it does not leave behind a sugary residue for bacteria to feed upon. This already helps to keep your mouth cleaner than other types of beverages. Additionally, water also helps to flush bacteria, food debris, and excess sugars from the mouth. Regularly drinking water helps to clean the mouth several times a day, which can decrease bad breath and lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Strengthens the Enamel
Not only does drinking water help to clean your mouth, but it also helps to strengthen your tooth enamel. This is because most drinking water contains fluoride, which is an ingredient that helps to remineralize damaged enamel. Regularly drinking water with fluoride helps to keep your enamel strong and makes it less likely to become damaged by bacteria. Overall, this significantly decreases the risk of tooth decay.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a condition that is characterized by a decrease in saliva production. It can occur due to medical conditions or as a reaction to certain medications. Unfortunately, dry mouth can be potentially hazardous to your oral health because not having enough saliva means that your mouth cannot properly clean itself. This allows more bacteria to accumulate, which can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and/or gum disease. Drinking water not only helps to promote saliva production, but it also helps to clean the mouth like saliva would normally do. For this reason, drinking water is especially important for people with dry mouths.
Tips for Drinking More Water
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. This way you are more likely to actually drink water when you are thirsty instead of drinking something else.
- Monitor how much water you drink on a daily basis and then set goals throughout the day to increase or maintain your water intake.
- Work on sipping water gradually throughout the day instead of gulping down large amounts all at once. Not only is water better absorbed when taken in slowly, but sipping water prevents you from feeling bloated.
- Try drinking water before and after every meal. This helps you to reach your total daily water intake. Drinking water before a meal helps to decrease the amount of food you eat, while drinking water after a meal helps to clean your mouth and rinse away food particles.